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Governors promise to safeguard devolution

09 June 2015, 09:15 Oduor Omondi

Kisumu - The immediate former chairman of the Council of Governors, Isaac Ruto and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) have promised to safeguard devolution at all costs.

The two governors said Kenyans have languished in poverty, disease and ignorance for over 50 years due to centralisation of resources.

Speaking during the thanksgiving ceremony for Kisumu County governor, Jack Ranguma on Saturday, Ruto and Oparanya said resources must be distributed equitably across the country.

“What is given to counties are not an individual’s property and must be divided equally,” said Ruto.

He pointed out that Nyanza region had many academic giants and professionals but still faced problems due to lack of resources and bad politics.

“Kenya is for all of us and we need to do the right things,” he said adding that governors will fight for equality and safeguard gains brought about by devolution.

The Bomet Governor asked the national government to implement devolution as required by the constitution, pointing out that funds meant for road construction and water services are still being held by the national government even after devolving the functions.

Read Also: Governors debate Referendum in retreat

“Kenyans voted for the constitution with a clear knowledge of what they expected,” he remarked, adding that governors will support referendum to change the status of devolution by ensuring that 45% of the national budget is given to counties.

He further criticised the move by the national government to purchase medical equipment for counties arguing that governors were only involved in the process at the final stage.

“Why should governors pay KES 95 million for a period of 8 years for equipment bought at KES 180 million by the national government?” he asked, adding that there was mischief in the agenda.

The Governor argued that counties were better placed to identify what they need, and can manage the resources well.

Oparanya on his part observed that most residents of western Kenya are still poor, unemployed and lacking access to health facilities hence the need for more funds to be devolved.

He noted that the region had great potential in cane growing but most of the factories like Miwani and Chemelil had collapsed leading to youth unemployment.

Oparanya urged local residents to register as voters and vote for CORD leader, Raila Odinga in 2017.

During the ceremony, Governor Ranguma was officially installed as the County head by the elders from the seven sub counties in Kisumu.

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